I interrupt my regularly scheduled Monday Musings for this special edition.
As some of you may know, my mother suffered a mild stroke over the weekend. This is her 2nd stroke, with her 1st occurring back in the late 1990's. Additionally, she had a nasty bout of renal failure due to sepsis last fall. Both of my parents are in their 80's. Dad also suffered a recent stroke himself. All of this has contributed to this overwhelming need and deep desire I have to reconcile my past and present with them and with myself before it is too late. Today, I will share with you my letter to Mom.
I know I was a blubbering mess when I spoke with you Saturday night. There were many reasons for my state of mind. First and foremost was my concern for your state of health. I needed to be sure that you were okay.
Second, you told me how much you enjoyed my blog. Do you have any idea how much this pleased me? Especially after living in the shadows of the success of 1st and 4th Sisters. Additionally, my poetry and stories of late are windows to my soul: the personal growth and challenges I am currently facing. Despite my references to childhood woundedness and to the many facets and layers to the meaning of my words, you made sure to tell me that you enjoyed reading my writings. This was probably the most special gift you have ever given me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Mom, there are so many things we need to reconcile, and come to terms with before it is too late. I want you to understand that I now know you did the very best you could under the circumstances. But I did not know your own personal battles and struggles when I, myself, was so very young. All I know is that I resented the attention lavished on 4th Sister. Because of all the attention bestowed upon her, in my mind I became the "forgotten child". Remember, Mom, I was but a child not able to reason that this was your way of protecting her. I am so sorry. I ask your forgiveness.
To further enhance my feelings of abandonment was when you decided you needed to take that evening/night shift job. In effect, I had no mother at home to raise me when I entered the formative junior high school years. You were asleep in the morning when we got ourselves ready for school and gone when we returned home. Mark and I were left to our own devices. Did you realize that during this time Dad taught me how to mix martinis so that I could fix them for him when he came home from work? The feelings of abandonment grew deeper. But I dared not act out...that was 4th Sister's way. I became quite adept at the "good girl" persona I had adopted as my defense mechanism. Mom, I knew you were unhappy, depressed, but what could a 12 year old do? I now know you took this job in preparation for the day you planned to leave Dad. I am so sorry. I ask your forgiveness.
Fast forward to the time not too long after you had left home...to the morning Mark died...Mom, you asked that I stay with him the night before. I didn't. I was being selfish. I am so sorry. I ask your forgiveness.
Mom, I have also been neglectful in staying in touch with you. I have not been honest with you as well as myself. For over 30 years I have been running away, hiding from these feelings, these festering wounds. I guess running away was my way of numbing the pain...of burying it...of forgetting it. Funny thing about buried secrets...they have a way of coming back to haunt you.
Well enough. I am done running. I need to allow myself to finally feel the pain buried so long ago so that I can heal. I hope this somehow helps you do the same. I love you Mom. I'll be home as soon as I can. Then we will talk...face to face and heart to heart.